With new nonstop flights from the UK and the biggest ski resort in the US, Utah prepares for another record-breaking winter season
Watch: Ski Utah’s President Nathan Rafferty on what to expect in the 2016-17 ski season: http://bit.ly/2cCivLw
With a little over two months until ski season begins again, Utah’s 14 major resorts are gearing up for another bumper winter of snow sports.
Famed as the home of The Greatest Snow on Earth®, meteorologists ascribe Utah’s deliciously light, consistently fluffy powder to the presence of the Great Salt Lake at the heart of its ski region. The ‘Lake Effect’ has a direct impact on cloud moisture levels, resulting in deep, dry snow falling across Utah’s mountains and resorts – and attracting skiers in their millions every year.
Last season the state – home to Park City Mountain Resort, which became the largest ski area in the US after linking up with Canyons in 2015 – saw a record breaking 4.5 million visitors. Following a number of major developments over the summer, it’s now aiming to eclipse that total once again in 2016-17.
In the first full ski season since Delta Air Lines launched its new nonstop London Heathrow to Salt Lake City service, hopes are high – particularly after major investment at a number of Utah’s bigger resorts.
Leading the way is Snowbird – a mere 30 minutes’ drive from the airport – where the flagship Creekside Lodge has been completely reconstructed. The multi-million pound project has seen the building, at the centre of the resort, treble in size. The state-of-the-art lodge will now become the base of operations for all Snowbird Mountain Ski and Snowboard School lessons, eliminating the need to shuttle students about and allowing for a lot more time skiing and snowboarding on the mountain.
In Ogden Valley, the eagerly anticipated Whisper Ridge Cat Skiing opens in December, boasting 30,000 acres of private back country terrain and eight specially customised snowcats to make full use of them. With single or multi-day cat-skiing tours on offer, guests will have the option to overnight in one of three luxury yurt villages if they wish, soaking their powder-pummelled limbs in private wood fired hot tubs.
Also just 30 minutes’ drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, Solitude Mountain Resort goes into its second year of being owned and operated by Deer Valley Resort with a newly renovated Roundhouse, the famous restaurant at its heart. Serving delicious Himalayan-inspired mountain cuisine, it’s famed for having one of the best and sunniest views across the Wasatch Range, where all of Utah’s skiing takes place.
Becky Johnson, Senior Global Manager for the Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding, comments: “From the newly expanded Park City Mountain Resort to time-honoured favourites like Snowbasin, Alta and Powder Mountain, Utah is home to some of the finest ski areas in the world. Combined with Delta Air Lines’ new nonstop route from London Heathrow, excellent facilities and short transfer times into our resorts from the airport, we’re hoping to see more British visitors this winter. After all, if you’re serious about your skiing, you need to try The Greatest Snow on Earth® for yourself.”
Ski Solutions (0207 471 7700 / www.skisolutions.com) offers seven nights in Park City at the four-star DoubleTree by Hilton – The Narrow from £1,785 per person. The price includes return Delta Air Lines flights from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City, car hire for the duration and lift passes for two adults sharing accommodation, travelling on 10 December 2016.
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